Archive for the ‘2012 NBA Playoffs’ Category

Somehow, I don’t think he had the same reaction when Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t get a chance to take a penalty kick in Portugal’s loss to Spain in the 2012 European Football Championship. Just a hunch.

(via Tas)

There’s no way to know how you’re going to react when you win an NBA championship. Do you think Dirk Nowitzki thought he was going to start crying and run away from the celebration last year? Me neither. It’s an emotional time — especially if it’s your first title — so guessing at what happens when you finally win is impossible.

The only thing you can know, therefore, is that there is going to be madness. There are bound to be so many people coming from so many places trying to do so many things, that it’s virtually assured that there is general craziness happening after a series-clinching win. And in that madness, things can get misplaced.

Including, as it turns out, the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award. That’s exactly what happened to LeBron James a little less than a week ago. From Lee Jenkins’ absolutely killer Sports Illustrated profile on post-title LeBron:

[After] James retreated to the locker room, where teammates bathed him in a Budweiser–Dom Perignon cocktail, he caught a scare. He couldn’t find his Finals MVP trophy.

“Where’s my trophy?” James hollered, rummaging through his locker. “I left it right here!” He rushed through the tunnel back to the court, where he had to give an interview, but the moment it ended he asked, “Have you seen my trophy? Who took my trophy?” On the way to the press conference, where the MVP trophy was waiting all along, he relaxed a bit. “It’s just an individual award, anyway,” he says. “It’s not the one that matters.” He took the Larry O’Brien trophy from the podium and cradled it like a third son, and when friends offered to help carry it down a hallway, he waved them off.

Oh man, classic “Who moved my trophy?” mishaps right here, when it was on the press conference table all along. Crazy league PR people and their trophy-moving ways. You guys are going to give someone a heart attack.

That had to be the worst feeling ever though. Here’s LeBron James on one of the happiest days of his life, finally fulfilling a prophecy that was given 12 years earlier and doing so in a way that left no doubt that he’s the best basketball player alive, only the physical embody of that triumph is nowhere to be found. Not only that, no one else knows where it is because they’re too busy spraying each other with various liquors and trying to look cool in backwards hats. Is it in the locker? No, of course not. It’s not a pair of shoes. Did he put it in his gym bag? Nope. Again, not shoes. Maybe he left it on the court and Box Out Kid took it? Seems like something he’d try to pull, but I doubt his arms aren’t strong enough to lift something that heavy.

Of course, the whole time it was safely waiting for him  to join it at the press conference. All LeBron had to do was check NBA.com’s live stream and he would have seen it, completely alieviating all fears and allowing him to enjoy the celebration instead of trying to find something that should be very hard to lose. That’s why I always keep a computer handy. Just in case.

When you are a professional athlete, sometimes you need more than just winning and losing to motivate you. That’s why we see guys like Michael Jordan turn imagined slights in to the biggest offenses possible, using those transgressions to fuel competitive fire. Playing a game for money can get ridiculous when you really think about it, so a little something extra can be a huge help.

And that’s exactly what Erik Spoelstra gave the Heat before they began their march to the Larry O’Brien trophy. In fact, it was that very trophy that Spoelstra used to fire up his team. From the Miami Herald:

It started with a black Larry O’Brien Trophy and ended with a golden one.

Hours after the Heat’s victory parade had ended and the celebration inside AmericanAirlines Arena was over, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra let everyone in on a little secret from the team’s playoff run that not even president Pat Riley knew about. The day before the playoffs started, Spoelstra presented his players with a replica of the Larry O’Brien Trophy, the prize for winning an NBA championship.

Molded rubber and black in color, the symbol served as a pact between the team throughout the postseason.

Each player signed the trophy, promising to play together as a team to reach the Heat’s ultimate goal.

The trophy also helped the Heat keep track of their journey.

After each victory in the playoffs, Spoelstra and his players secretly marked a victory notch on the replica trophy.

“We had to see 16 of those notches before we could even get happy,” Dwyane Wade said. “In the locker room, we put that last notch on there, everybody started screaming and yelling.”

Between this and Jason Terry’s trophy tattoo, I am starting to think there is something to needing to have a fake version of the Larry O’Brien trophy near your team in order to win the NBA title. I don’t want to prognosticate too much, but maybe things would have turned out differently if the Thunder had hired a little person to dress as the Larry O’Brien trophy and travel with the team, much like Pedro Martinez’s good luck charm from the early 2000′s. There’s no way to know if it would have worked, but it sure seems like there is science to back this up.

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One last Chris Bosh face joke (0:17 mark) to cap off a season seems like a good way to end things for 2011-12, especially when it comes from Chris Bosh. Between this, his personal champagne party and bigging up himself during Erik Spoelstra’s postgame presser, I think we can give him the MVP of championship celebrating.

I mean, just look at this guy.

Weirdest guy in the NBA? Maybe.

Following an NBA Finals victory by LeBron James, there might be no tougher job than that of a Cleveland weatherman. Think about it — a player your city hates who plays for a weather-themed team just beat another weather-themed team to win his first NBA championship after leaving your city’s team. Unless Cleveland experiences a chilly but totally precipitation-free night, there is bound to be some crossover. If it’s hot or stormy, good luck not mentioning the Heat or Thunder.

That being said, when he said he was “on fire right now,” I totally agreed. This guy killed it.

If you’ve been following TBJ for the past couple of years, you know all about Box Out Kid, the little guy who always shows up at All-Star Games and gets in Skeets’ way. This kid is our once a year nemesis, bringing us both laughs and frustration when we run in to him at Media Day.

So imagine our amazement when we saw him directly behind David Stern as he presented the Miami Heat with the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

If you missed him, here he is.

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Oh hi, Shaquille O’Neal. Nice to see you. Do you think Jon Barry sucks? A lot of people who hang out by that set sure do, so I just thought I’d ask.

Anyways, cool of you to stop by and make sure you got on the biggest NBA show of the night even though you’re not employed by that network. Funny how that always seems to work out for you.

See you soon, I’m sure.